Latest Data on the
Performance of
Internal Affairs Agencies
Internal Troops
in 1996

Ministry of Internal Affairs - MVD

20 February 1997

Crime Factors Influencing State of Law and Order in Russia

Basic Indicators of Crime Rate

Last year, in 1996, the main factors influencing the state of law and order in the Russian Federation were the same as in previous years. The level of economic and social development, the relative physical and spiritual well-being of citizens, and the conflict in the Chechen Republic continued to have the greatest influence. The crime world continued to accumulate resources and functional potential and to become more highly organized. Within a relatively short period of time the crime world has made the transition from separate groups of disparate gangs to a set of intellectually and technically secure and well-disguised criminal communities. There were fewer cases of broad-scale conspiracies by crime families. Exceptionally dangerous methods and means, including acts of criminal terrorism, were used for intimidation and for shows of strength. During the year there were 708 reported cases of the deliberate obliteration or destruction of objects by explosive devices. There were 30 victims, including 13 fatalities, in just the bombing of the Kotlyakov Cemetery in Moscow. Dozens of people suffered death or serious injury in the ruins of a bombed residential building in Kaspiysk in the Dagestan Republic.

The main cause of many negative developments, including difficulties in the fight against crime, can be found in the sphere of economic relations. At the end of 1996 the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs sent the President of the Russian Federation a special report analyzing crime factors in the present-day Russian economy and proposing ways of eliminating them. The main sections of the report were printed in Nezavisimaya Gazeta and several other publications. The main conclusion of the criminologists and economists who compiled the document was that the state of law and order in this sphere offers no grounds for optimism. Criminal methods of economic management are becoming increasingly distinct. The number of economic entities operating illegally or failing to report or pay taxes on a high percentage of their income is rising rapidly.

Delays and lapses in the establishment of mechanisms to monitor and protect the new system of economic relations from criminal infiltration contributed to the rapid rise and qualitative transformation of economic crime. The most dangerous types of offenses are becoming more prevalent, new ways of committing crimes have been developed, and the corruption of central and local government agencies has reached menacing proportions.

Mercantile conspiracies by officials, criminal lobbying in representative government bodies, the investment of budget funds in commercial structures against the interests of the state and its citizens, the establishment of spurious businesses, the unwarranted and unprofitable transfer of state property to the control of private individuals, illegal foreign economic operations, and the combination of government service with participation in commercial enterprises and organizations have become common everywhere.

The credit and finance sphere has been damaged most by criminal infiltration. There has been a steady rise in the number of crimes in this sphere (a 2.5-fold increase over the last four years). The embezzlement of funds with the aid of forged payment documents and fraudulent bank guarantees, illegal applications for preferential credits and the subsequent use of this money for other than the designated purpose, the transfer of capital to the unmonitored (shadow) economy and foreign banks, and the "laundering" of criminal proceeds are being practiced extensively. Huge bribes are paid for the extension of credits, the issuance of cash, the opening of settlement accounts, and the speedy processing of financial documents, and the amount charged for a single unlawful operation of this kind can run into billions of rubles.

All of this has been accompanied by the deterioration of the average Russian's status. The decline of production, inadequate financing of the budget-funded sphere, and lack of funds for social programs and protection of low-income citizens are alienating most of the population from the objectives of property reform and economic restructuring in the country. There has been a growing sense of disillusionment with life and increasing contempt for moral standards and ethical behavior.

The marginalization of the population has not been stopped. In fact, more and more people are becoming involved in unlawful activities. Last year 1,618,000 people were charged with crimes (23,000 more than in the previous year), and 1.25 million of them were first-time offenders. People with no permanent source of income represented almost half of the total number (777,900). The relative numbers of repeat offenders (22.7 percent), women (15.9 percent), and juveniles (11.9 percent) were still high. Almost a third (28 percent) had committed the crimes in a group acting on a common impulse.

The "transparency" of borders and the extensive opportunities for permanent residence in Russia in the guise of migrants and refugees have perceptibly increased the criminal "contribution" of foreign citizens. New arrivals from the CIS committed 30,700 crimes. Measures to deport individuals who have violated the residence regulations for foreign citizens are a heavy burden on the MVD budget: These measures were taken against a total of 14,500 foreign citizens during the year, and one out of every four had to be escorted out of the country.

The mounting public indifference toward alcohol and drug abuse is having a negative effect on the state of law and order. The percentage of individuals committing crimes under the influence of alcohol is still high (36.4 percent). The number committing crimes under the influence of narcotic drugs and toxic substances has increased by 15 percent.

Crime Rate and Dynamics

Total number of crimes reported

	2,760,700 in 1992
	2,799,600 in 1993
	2,632,700 in 1994
	2,755,700 in 1995
	2,625,100 in 1996
	2,700,000 in 1997 [estimated]

Overall crime rate per 100,000 inhabitants

	1,857 in 1992
	1,888 in 1993
	1,779 in 1994
	1,862 in 1995
	1,774 in 1996

Despite the complexity and dangers of the crime situation in the country, we have to acknowledge that the efforts of federal and regional governing structures and law enforcement agencies to strengthen law and order and guarantee public safety have produced definite results. An analysis of the overall situation in the Russian Federation in terms of several basic indicators suggests that it is changing for the better. The total number of reported crimes was lower than the 1995 figure by 130,600, or by 4.7 percent. A drop in the crime rate has been reported by 61 members of the Russian Federation, with the most perceptible reductions (from 11.1 to 18.6 percent) recorded in the Tatarstan Republic, the Republic of Khakassia, the Chuvash Republic, Maritime Kray, Astrakhan Oblast, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Kamchatka, Leningrad, Pskov, and Ryazan Oblasts, and the city of St. Petersburg.

In the expectation of doubts and questions about the possible manipulation of statistics to soft-pedal the actual crime figures, the failure to report many types of unlawful behavior, and the number of law enforcement agencies remaining outside the monitored sphere for various reasons, we must underscore the reduction in the number of the most serious types of crime, particularly the reductions of 7.2 percent in premeditated homicides, 13.5 percent in grievous bodily injuries, and 21.5 percent in crimes committed with the use of firearms and explosive devices. In addition to this, there were reductions of 13.7 percent in the number of reported robberies, 8.1 percent in muggings, and 11.7 percent in petty thefts. There was a substantial decrease of 18.7 percent in street crime as a whole and all of its separate elements, including felonious assaults (18.9 percent). Cases of homicide and the intentional infliction of grievous bodily injuries decreased by almost one-fourth, and there was an average reduction of 20 percent in the numbers of muggings, robberies, and disturbances of the peace in public places. There was noticeable improvement in the maintenance of law and order and the guarantee of public safety in the passenger and freight transport network, where the number of felonies decreased by 17 percent.

It is too early to relax our efforts, however, because felonies are still predominant in the overall structure of reported crimes. Although the total number was reduced by 167,000, this reduction has not alleviated the pressure of crime because there were qualitative changes in the targets and methods of criminal offenses and a shift toward more dangerous types of behavior. "Contract" murders have become even more common.

The illegal circulation of large quantities of firearms and explosive devices is still the most destabilizing factor contributing to the commission of particularly serious violent crimes. More than 9,500 offenses were committed with the use of guns during the year. The highest numbers were recorded in the cities of Moscow (1,096) and St. Petersburg (508) and in Moscow Oblast (372).

As far as other spheres of MVD activity are concerned, there has been some improvement in the situation with regard to traffic accidents. Despite the increase in the number of vehicles on the road, particularly privately owned vehicles, there was a decrease of 4 percent in the number of traffic accidents and a decrease of 10.1 percent in the number of fatalities in these accidents.

Conflicting tendencies were recorded in the fire prevention sphere. The number of fires did not decrease (294,800), and there was an increase in human and material losses. Last year 15,900 people (an increase of 6.7 percent) died in fires, and the combined material losses exceeded 1.5 trillion rubles. Most of these fires (71.3 percent) occurred in the residential sector. The reasons for most of the fires and the ensuing losses were connected with alcohol and drug abuse.

The quantitative increase and growing criminal potential of the inmates of labor camps, pretrial detention centers, and prisons, the dilapidated state of these facilities, the inadequate federal budget funding, and the production and economic problems common to the whole society are the causes of tension in institutions of the correctional system.

Efforts of Internal Affairs Agencies and Internal Troops of Russian MVD To Fight Crime and Strengthen Law and Order

The previously mentioned qualitative changes in the structure of crime necessitated a search for new solutions and active measures to counter the most dangerous forms of criminal behavior. The strategy was based on the objectives President B.N. Yeltsin of the Russian Federation set in his annual message to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to protect human life and dignity, as well as measures specified in the government-approved Federal Program of the Russian Federation for More Intense Efforts in the Fight Against Crime in 1996-1997.

Measures to improve the administration of the MVD system are an important and necessary organizational condition for the attainment of announced objectives. The reform of the administrative staffs of the internal affairs agencies of republic, kray, and oblast centers and the transportation network and of regional organized crime- fighting directorates has been completed. Their administrators have been given broader authority and more responsibility in making decisions connected with the performance of fundamental law enforcement duties, crime- fighting operations, and the provision of subordinate subdivisions with human, material, and technical resources.

The updated Statute on the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, approved by an RF presidential edict of 18 July 1996, clarifies the duties and functions of the federal ministry and defines their basic aims as the protection of human and civil rights and liberties, the enforcement of laws, and the guarantee of public safety.

Structure of Crime
(in percentages)

	crimes by officials		--	 0.6 percent
	crimes against individuals	--	 3.6 percent
	thefts				--	46.0 percent
	robberies			--	 4.6 percent
	muggings			--	 1.3 percent
	business fraud			--	 2.8 percent
	embezzlement			--	 1.5 percent
	consumer fraud			--	 1.1 percent
	disturbances of the peace	--	 6.9 percent
	other crimes			--	31.6 percent

Above all, internal affairs agencies concentrated on improving operations to stop and solve serious crimes against individuals. The resources and methods of undercover investigation services were updated with a view to the additional opportunities provided by the federal law "On Undercover Investigations and Searches." Measures were taken to strengthen the personnel staff and improve the professional skills of criminal investigation agencies, new subdivisions were established to investigate criminal bombings, thefts of weapons and explosive devices, crimes against individuals, and other offenses, and existing subdivisions handling these matters were reinforced.

Dynamics of
Number of Crimes Solved and
Case Clearance Rate

	Number of	percentage of
	Crimes		crimes solved

	1,022,500	49.5 percent 	in 1991
	1,217,300	46.9 percent	in 1992
	1,394,600	50.6 percent	in 1993
	1,578,100	59.6 percent	in 1994
	1,745,200	64.5 percent	in 1995
	1,843,500	70.1 percent	in 1996

Stricter supervision was instituted to monitor responses to complaints and reports of crimes and plans to commit crimes and oversee the quality of investigative activity and undercover operations. As a result, 1,843,500 crimes were solved, which was 98,300 more than in 1995. Property, money, and other valuables worth 1.8 trillion rubles were seized from criminals for the reimbursement of material losses.

More criminal assaults on the life and health of citizens and crimes committed with the use of firearms and explosive devices were solved. The perpetrators of 75 percent of the premeditated homicides (22,600), 75.8 percent of the premeditated felonious assaults, and 86.9 percent of the rapes were apprehended. The highest case clearance rates for crimes against individuals (87.7- 91.3 percent) were reported by internal affairs agencies of the Altay Republic, Bashkortostan Republic, and Amur, Bryansk, Ivanovo, Kursk, Pskov, and Tambov Oblasts.

It is no coincidence that we focused so much attention on the number of crimes solved, because we view the inevitable punishment of the guilty as a decisive link in the chain of measures to lower the crime rate and to prevent violent crimes, theft, corruption, and the other unlawful types of behavior accompanying the process of reform in the Russian economy and sociopolitical structure.

The practice of conducting effective large-scale crime prevention operations by sizable detachments of police and internal troops continued to be developed last year. Operations "Touring Company," "Arsenal," "Search," and others were conducted in several parts of the country to prevent, stop, and solve crimes, identify the channels for the illegal circulation of certain items and substances, and confiscate these items and substances. These operations resulted in the clearance of around 40,000 serious criminal cases, including more than 500 murders, 1,200 felonious assaults, and 2,700 muggings and robberies. Agents confiscated 34,000 weapons of various types, 380,000 pieces of ammunition, 340 kilograms of explosives, 670 grenades and artillery shells, 2,300 stolen vehicles, 1.6 tonnes of illegal drugs, and money and other valuables worth over 78 billion rubles. Around 5,000 fugitives from justice were apprehended.

In spite of the complexity and diversity of criminal behavior in Russia, the public is particularly disturbed by the phenomenon of organized crime. In fact, this is the most destructive new development of our day, and it is having a strong impact on the social, economic, and cultural development of the country and on the state of crime in the broad sense by involving more and more segments of the population in illegal activities. We frequently hear that our country is doomed to total criminalization and that criminal gangs are becoming omnipotent. There is no question that the danger of this form of crime requires much greater resistance and the coordinated efforts of all government and social institutions. The accumulated experience and operational results of subdivisions specializing in organized crime and other criminal police divisions indicate, however, that the situation is not as hopeless as it seems to the public.

A group of targeted preventive measures in the past year stopped the criminal activities of 8,800 organized crime gangs. Criminal charges were filed against 20,800 of their leaders and most active members, who were involved in the commission of 37,400 dangerous crimes, including 304 brutal gang assaults. Foreign currency amounting to 4.6 million dollars, 6,400 firearms, over 2.2 tonnes of explosives, 313 antiques, 2,700 pieces of equipment used in the commission of crimes, and more than 1,300 motor vehicles were confiscated in criminal proceedings.

Structure of Indictments for Corruption
(in percentages)

41.1 percent	personnel of ministries, committees, and local structures
11.7 percent	personnel of credit and finance system
 8.9 percent	personnel of regulatory agencies
 0.8 percent	deputies 
26.5 percent	personnel of law enforcement agencies
 3.2 percent	personnel of customs service
 7.8 percent	others

The "godfathers" of the crime world are under constant scrutiny. Undercover operations broke up 17 "gangster rallies" attended by 277 of the most odious members of the crime world. The meetings were to be held for the purpose of discussing matters connected with the division of spheres of influence, the resolution of internal disputes, and the "coronation" of crime bosses. Criminal charges were filed against 31 "crime lords." Charges have been filed against three "crime lords" and 38 other leaders of the crime world just in the environs of the capital since the publication of the Russian Presidential Edict "On Immediate Measures To Strengthen Law and Order and Intensify the Fight Against Crime in the City of Moscow and Moscow Oblast."

Stopping the activities of the gangs and groups responsible for the criminal atmosphere in several regions is one of the main objectives of criminal police divisions and specialized organized crime subdivisions primarily because each of them usually can take credit for at least 10 felonies.

Here are just a few examples.

The activities of several gangs and groups operating primarily within the territory of Voronezh Oblast and in Russia's southern regions were stopped. One of them was suspected of committing 58 felonies, including three murders and two attempted murders, 15 home invasions, two carjackings, and 35 vehicle thefts. Twenty active members of one group were arrested. Rifled handguns, grenades, ammunition, and 16 stolen vehicles were seized from the criminals. Another operation neutralized a group in the same location (21 members were arrested), which has been credited with over 50 crimes, including three murders, 17 muggings, and more than 20 vehicle thefts. Firearms, grenades, and 13 stolen vehicles were confiscated. The investigators of a criminal case against another 20- member gang found evidence of the involvement of its members in the commission of more than 40 murders, thefts, and muggings.

Five members of a criminal gang committing crimes wearing police uniforms were arrested in Ryazan Oblast. They had committed six robberies and assaults on drivers of freight vehicles. Rifled handguns, ammunition, the uniform and badge of a GAI [State Motor Vehicle Inspection] officer, several sets of special service camouflage uniforms, three radio transceivers, and counterfeit vehicle license plates were confiscated from the arrested criminals.

Five members of an organized crime gang responsible for the murders of four citizens were identified in Samara Oblast. All of them were arrested. The arresting officers confiscated 18 pieces of combat weaponry, including eight assault rifles, and 18 grenades from them.

Agents neutralized an organized crime ring in Sverdlovsk Oblast which had committed 15 homicides, including the murders of three police officers, and eight armed robberies of commercial stores in the city of Yekaterinburg. They arrested 38 individuals. The criminals resisted arrest, wounding three policemen, one of whom later died.

In Perm Oblast 16 members of a crime ring responsible for 52 crimes, including three murders and 45 thefts, were arrested.

Broad-scale preventive operations were conducted on the country's main highways to ensure the safety of freight and passenger transport. Agents stopped the activities of an armed gang in Moscow Oblast with 10 active members assaulting the drivers of inter-urban delivery vehicles. They also neutralized several similar gangs which had been active for a long time on the highways between Moscow and Minsk, Moscow and Nizhniy Novgorod, and Barnaul and Novosibirsk and in Vladimir, Tver, Smolensk, and some other oblasts.

There was a special emphasis on blocking the channels for the illegal circulation of weapons, ammunition, and explosives. Agents identified 27 organized crime gangs that had specialized in this illegal business for a long time. They confiscated 3,900 firearms, 91 grenade launchers, and 1,500 grenades from the members.

Zones of military operations still served as one of the sources of weapons delivered to criminal gangs. More than 5,000 firearms were removed from illegal circulation in the North Caucasus. An even more impressive number is smuggled into the country from states of the "near abroad," particularly the Baltic countries. Internal affairs agencies of Leningrad and Pskov Oblasts prevented the smuggling of more than 7,000 weapons. Regional organized crime directorates stopped contraband imports of large shipments of weapons across Russia's border with Latvia and Estonia and confiscated 1,600 Tokarev Tula pistols.

Much of this "merchandise" is put into illegal circulation by "underground gunsmiths." Undercover searches and preventive operations conducted directly on the grounds of enterprises producing arms led to the discovery of 224 crimes connected with the theft and illegal circulation of weapons and stopped the activities of nine crime rings. In particular, one gang in Izhevsk had been stealing components for several years. A search turned up 19 complete sets of components for the Kalashnikov assault rifle.

The continued development of private detective and security services (at this time there are more than 9,600 registered security and investigative enterprises with more than 112,000 employees) has increased the quantity of weapons in the possession of citizens considerably. Over 55,000 firearms and gas guns are being used legally just in the sphere of security and investigative services. This has given internal affairs agencies several new responsibilities connected with the oversight of, first of all, the safekeeping of legally issued weapons and special equipment and, second, the legal use of this equipment by security guards.

Inspections of operating conditions in private detective and guard service enterprises and security services revealed that 620 of these enterprises and more than 2,800 physical persons were performing investigative and guard services and training private security guards and detectives without any license or registration. They confiscated more than 4,800 firearms, around 1,000 gas guns and revolvers, 73,000 pieces of ammunition, 76 grenades, and 74 stun guns which were being used illegally. They also discovered hundreds of cases of the use of prohibited equipment and devices for radio and telephone communications, listening devices, and stationary and mobile radio transceivers.

These violations resulted in the revocation of 336 licenses, the suspension of the activities of 138 security services, the issuance of 1,300 official warnings to the administrators of guard and investigative enterprises which had violated the laws on private detective and security guard services, the collection of fines from 544 individuals, and the institution of criminal proceedings in 32 cases.

A national comprehensive arms inventory included inspections of more than 30,000 elements of the licensing system, enterprises, stores selling weapons, sports and hunting clubs, and private security services, over 1.3 million individual owners of weapons, and 1,300 facilities for the storage of explosives. Violations discovered during these inspections resulted in administrative penalties for more than 37,000 officials, the institution of criminal proceedings in 3,500 cases, and the confiscation of 12,800 weapons, including 2,600 rifled guns. These inspections and other measures helped to reduce the number of crimes committed with the use of weapons and explosives by 20.7 percent.

"Contract" murders have been a sore spot in recent years in evaluations of the performance of internal affairs agencies. Law enforcement agencies are frequently criticized for the lack of perceptible progress in the search for the hired killers of prominent journalists, businessmen, and public figures and for the people who hire them. We cannot deny the fact that undercover agents of the MVD and the law enforcement system as a whole are still accumulating experience in solving these crimes. Last year there were 580 reported homicides that appeared to be contract murders. Only 70 were solved during the year. In particular, the organizer, perpetrator, and accomplices in the murder of General Director V.A. Smirnov of the experimental design office of the Kalinin Plant in Yekaterinburg were arrested. We have to admit, however, that contract killings are the most difficult of all violent crimes to solve, primarily because they are usually committed by highly professional "experts" in an atmosphere of deep secrecy. The client and the perpetrator often do not know each other, and the chain of middlemen between them can require considerable time and effort to "decipher." Obviously, the public and the friends and relatives of victims want criminals to be caught as soon as possible, but their interrelations with law enforcement officers are not always distinguished by trust and frankness.

An interdepartmental program is being carried out at this time to intensify the fight against serial crimes against persons and contract murders. Within the framework of this program, coordinated measures are being taken for the investigation of the most highly publicized crimes of recent years.

Internal affairs agencies have been more active in stopping the violent crimes accompanying the process of residential privatization. Highly organized crime rings are active in the real estate market. The personnel of housing offices, passport desks, and notary public offices often serve as their accomplices. Agents arrested four members of a gang in Moscow which had resorted to murder, extortion, and fraud for the illegal appropriation of dwellings. The gang members took over 150 dwellings in this manner. During the investigation the criminals were also implicated in the murder of the president of a commercial finance company, as a result of which they took possession of the deeds to 29 residences and 2.5 million dollars.

A gang of 14 was broken up in St. Petersburg after the members had committed 16 murders for the appropriation of privatized housing. Agents in Chelyabinsk Oblast neutralized a gang of 29 who had killed 15 people for similar reasons. Gangs of this kind were also identified and neutralized in Vladivostok, Samara, Novgorod, St. Petersburg, and Omsk, in Kaliningrad Oblast, and in other regions.

Property crimes constitute three-fourths of all crimes, and the overwhelming majority of these are thefts. These crimes represented the highest percentages of the total in Mordvinia (89 percent), Bryansk Oblast (85 percent), Ivanovo Oblast (84 percent), Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast (85 percent), and Tver Oblast (87 percent).

Crude resources and metals have been the object of constant and growing interest to criminals because their sale on the "black market" produces a high income. In Murmansk Oblast nine members of a crime ring were arrested for stealing 500 million rubles worth of nickel from the Severonikel Combine. All the stolen metal was recovered. Two local inhabitants were apprehended and arrested in the same place for the theft of 32 reels of copper coil worth $340 million from the grounds of the Pechenganikel Combine. In Stavropol Kray three people were arrested after they had stolen raw materials and goods worth more than a billion rubles from the warehouse of a closed joint-stock company. The inspection of potential targets of crime for the purpose of discovering and eliminating the factors contributing to the commission of crimes is an effective precautionary measure. In particular, this was the reason for the inventory of storage facilities for strategic raw materials and precious metals and stones, safes and vaults for the safekeeping of money, sites for the production and storage of commodity stocks, and facilities of the Russian Savings Bank, the RF Committee for Precious Metals and Precious Stones, and the defense branches of industry. All of them were guarded by the police or by internal troops of the Russian MVD and some were equipped with additional alarm systems. These measures reduced the number of thefts from these facilities, and they even prevented all thefts in the Bashkortostan Republic, Maritime Kray, and Irkutsk, Tula, and several other oblasts.

Crimes in Transportation Network

	116,400 in 1992 
	113,400 in 1993
	 80,400 in 1994 
	 67,500 in 1995 
	 64,700 in 1996

The public's unwavering interest in acquiring private vehicles and the sometimes unaffordable prices in the legal market have led to the existence and development of an underground trade in vehicles, consisting mainly of stolen cars. This is the reason for the high rate of vehicle theft. In half of the regions there were more reported vehicle thefts last year than in the previous year, and the clearance rate of these crimes in Russia as a whole was only 15.6 percent. These crimes are difficult to solve because stolen vehicles usually undergo quick modifications that eliminate the identifying features reported by the victims of theft. Agents in Moscow stopped the activities of an established criminal gang with four members suspected of committing 22 muggings and thefts. They were using three stolen vehicles when they were arrested. Further investigation in Volgograd Oblast led to the identification and arrest of their accomplices--five men from Chechnya who were leasing and selling the stolen cars. Agents confiscated six stolen vehicles with altered serial numbers.

Residential burglaries are the most common crime, and more than half are never solved. During the year 268,000 of these incidents were reported. One effective way of preventing these crimes is the use of security systems. At this time 580,000 residences are equipped with alarms. These systems are highly reliable (92 of every 93 attempted thefts in homes guarded by extradepartmental security services are prevented).

The prevention of burglary also depends largely on the citizens themselves. That is why the police are concentrating on explanatory work with the population, the organization of guard duty at the entrances to buildings, the technical fortification of residences, the installation of alarms in apartments and houses, and the reinforcement of doors and windows. The guarding of the lobbies of 4,200 residential buildings by tenants and the installation of alarms in 158,200 apartments reduced the number of thefts by 17.5 percent in the capital.

The development of collective flower and vegetable gardening and private subsidiary farming has increased the number of thefts from houses and other structures on subsidiary lots. The Internal Affairs Ministry of the Tatarstan Republic and the internal affairs directorates of Astrakhan, Vologda, Kemerovo, and some other oblasts set up subdivisions to guard the property of vacation and gardening societies. The result in the Tatarstan Republic, for example, was the reduction of crimes in the gardens by almost half and a rise in the clearance rate of reported thefts to 75.6 percent. Large gardening societies now have territorial police stations, and local budget funds are used to retain precinct police inspectors on a permanent basis. The contributions of enterprises and private donations from society members are being used to pay for patrols of more than 500 of the 1,700 gardening societies in Krasnodar Kray.

Russia's rich historical and cultural heritage has always aroused the interest of genuine connoisseurs and experts and of those seeking a high income, because national cultural treasures are still one of the most reliable currencies in the world. Internal affairs agencies have taken several measures to prevent the theft and export of national cultural treasures. The preservation of items of historical and cultural value has necessitated interaction with state agencies of the Russian Federation--the Ministry of Culture, the Federal Border Service, and the State Customs Committee--and also with the Moscow Patriarchate and several other religions. The Russian Federation Government has received reports on the state of icons and other religious objects and on the real property used by religious organizations, as well as proposals on the prevention of their theft.

Last year there were 3,100 reported thefts of antiques. Agents managed to solve 1,400 of the crimes of this category. There was extensive coverage in the press of the success of Moscow criminal investigators in identifying the individuals who had stolen 200 rare items from the State Public Historical Library with an estimated value of $2 million. They solved the case of the theft of a unique private collection of orders, medals, and badges spanning the 17th- 20th centuries, with an appraised value exceeding several million dollars, as well as 170 items from the Kutuzov Museum which had been stolen in August 1995. They caught a representative of the consul general of a foreign state in St. Petersburg in the act of taking antiques worth 26 million rubles out of the country. There are also many other examples of the productive work of these services in solving cases involving the theft of unique cultural treasures from private and state collections.

A search organized by the National Central Bureau of Interpol in Russia stopped the attempt to sell four paintings and six icons in major auction houses in London after they were identified as stolen Russian artworks. The problem of protecting our national cultural heritage is exceptionally acute, however. Extradepartmental security services are guarding 4,600 cultural facilities, including 3,300 museums, galleries, and libraries, around 750 archives, and 451 places of religious worship. In 1996 only 66 facilities were added to the list of locations under official protection. This is certainly not enough, but the expansion of services in this sphere has been limited by the shortage of federal budget funds.

Despite the efforts of law enforcement agencies and other state agencies to counter the illegal drug trade, Russia still attracts drug dealers because of its vast dimensions and the "transparent borders" enabling them to choose new routes constantly for the drug traffic within the country and from abroad. The high number of qualified experts without jobs or salaries, and the large quantity of unused high-technology resources and equipment are encouraging the investment of intellectual and industrial potential in the development of new synthetic drugs. The Russian MVD predicted this turn of events and made preparations for the expansion of the drug trade in our country. Specialized subdivisions were set up to combat the illegal drug traffic. The process of setting up the whole vertical structure of these subdivisions--from the federal ministry to the internal affairs ministries, main directorates, and directorates of RF members--was essentially completed last year and their staffs were augmented.

The prevention of drug-related crimes was also more productive last year. In all, agents stopped 96,700 of these crimes, or 21 percent more than in the previous year, including 20,000 crimes (an increase of 73.4 percent) connected with the sale of narcotic plant products. Stronger preventive measures and stricter storage regulations for narcotic substances reduced the number of thefts from storage facilities.

During the broad-scale preventive Operation "Poppy," 28,000 illegal narcotic plantations were discovered, the plants on 3,000 hectares were destroyed, more than 24,000 citizens were charged with drug-related crimes, including 3,900 sellers and 6,800 people who were transporting illegal drugs, and 20 tonnes of narcotics and the raw materials for their production were confiscated. Operation "Doping" included inspections of 20,400 facilities for the production, storage, and sale of manufactured narcotic drugs and medicines and revealed 9,000 crimes connected with the illegal traffic in narcotic drugs and virulent substances. Shipments from abroad are still the main source of the drug traffic in Russia. Immigrants from the African continent, the countries of the "Golden Crescent," and South America are highly active in this field. Agents arrested 49 citizens of Nigeria for the sale and storage of illegal drugs and confiscated more than a kilogram of heroin worth over $170,000 from them. A series of undercover operations in October and November exposed crime rings consisting of citizens of Zaire, Nigeria, and Afghanistan who were active in heroin smuggling. Arresting officers confiscated two kilograms of heroin worth $340,000 from them.

Drug dealers have been more active in the drug traffic between East Asia and Russia. Four citizens of the DPRK were detained on a train traveling from Khabarovsk to Moscow. They were carrying 2,200 ampules of morphine and other hard drugs. Russia's neighbors in the near abroad are drawn to the Russian market as much as their counterparts in distant foreign countries. Agents confiscated more than a tonne of hashish and poppy straw from drug couriers from Moldova and Ukraine.

We realize that the measures internal affairs agencies have taken so far are not commensurate with the invasive illegal traffic in large quantities of drugs, and we will be intensifying the fight against this criminal trade because its inherent dangers can jeopardize the whole society. We hope that all law enforcement structures fighting against the expansion of the drug trade in Russia will receive the necessary legal and financial support in time.

The Russian MVD's organizational and practical measures to intensify the investigation of criminal cases in the economic sphere took the form of comprehensive operations in the most crime-ridden branches and certain locations and coordinated interaction with other law enforcement and regulatory agencies in solving specific crimes.

In all, 239,400 economic crimes were reported during the year (27,600 more than in 1995), and 57,900 were classified as felonies. There were 30,000 crimes resulting in losses in large and particularly large amounts (an increase of 36.4 percent). The rate of larceny in the sphere of financial and economic operations rose by 16 percent, and the rate of grand larceny rose by more than one- fourth (28 percent). The number of economic crimes resulting in criminal trials (79,300) increased by a third, and the number of individuals convicted of crimes (51,600) increased by one-fourth.

Thorough undercover investigations revealed cases of larceny and grand larceny in the banking system and in state and nonstate insurance and pension funds. The vice president and broker of one firm, for example, were caught in an attempt to negotiate forged Savings Bank drafts for more than $2.5 million. There was also an attempt to distribute fraudulent Russian Savings Bank bills of exchange in the secondary securities market for over $240 million.

The increase in cases of the improper use of budget funds necessitated special operations to document and stop these incidents. The employees of a bank and commercial structure in Moscow were arrested after they used the settlement account of a fictitious firm to appropriate 12.5 billion rubles allocated for Russian regional development. A criminal case is being investigated in Vologda Oblast at this time in connection with the improper use of 21.7 billion rubles in federal budget allocations for grain purchases. The theft of a billion rubles from the Social Welfare Fund was discovered in Voronezh Oblast. The fund administrators exaggerated the amount of required construction and repairs in work estimates and then pocketed the additional budget resources. They were also implicated in the theft of allocated building materials.

The need to curb corruption in government is still an urgent problem, and its resolution will depend directly on the effectiveness of the struggle against crimes by officials and bribery. In all, 14,800 crimes by officials were reported, and 5,500 were cases of bribery. Cases of bribes in large and particularly large amounts increased by almost one-fourth. Around 2,900 bribery cases were sent to the criminal courts (an increase of 28.1 percent).

There were numerous abuses in the expenditure of targeted budget funds by officials of the Federal Food Corporation of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. Part of the money--1.8 trillion rubles-- was returned to the state. This case is still being reviewed by the Russian Federation Procuracy General.

A criminal case involving 19 officials of the capital construction office of the Voronezh municipal administration is under investigation at this time. They are suspected of taking more than 100 bribes for a total of around 800 million rubles in exchange for over 70 dwellings from the state housing supply. There is evidence that the defendants had connections with organized crime.

The level of criminal activity by officials is particularly high in the privatization sphere, where more than 1,700 crimes were reported. Corruption is most common in territorial property management agencies and the funds directly responsible for the implementation of the privatization program. Officials of these and other state agencies in Moscow, in Omsk, Chelyabinsk, Tula, and Samara Oblasts, in Stavropol Kray, and in other regions have been charged with taking bribes and committing other abuses of office.

The administrators of a commercial bank in Moscow were charged with fraud after they embezzled tens of billions of rubles belonging to the Russian Federal Property Fund and intended to finance various operations in the market for stock in enterprises slated for privatization.

We believe that there should be no zone above suspicion in the fight against corruption. The personnel of internal affairs agencies, the courts, and the procuracy, deputies on all levels, and the employees of state and commercial structures should be equally accountable before the law. Law enforcement agencies are still encountering obstacles, however, in the form of immunity, commercial secrets, etc. The Russian budget is losing large amounts of revenue as a result of illegal transactions with foreign currency, which are still rising in number. Agents discovered more than 11,300 illegal transactions with forex assets, including 1,600 involving particularly large amounts of money (an increase of 32.1 percent). The amount of precious metals removed from unlawful circulation increased by one- fourth and included 477 kilograms of gold, 573 kilograms of silver, 45 kilograms of platinum, 21 kilograms of rare- earth metals of the platinum group, and 10,000 carats of precious stones. The economic impact of these measures exceeded 100 billion rubles.

Structure of Street Crime
(in 1996, in percentages)

	robberies				--	22.9 percent
	petty thefts				--	30.2 percent
	disturbances of the peace		--	17.8 percent
	premeditated felonious assaults		--	 4   percent
	muggings				--	 3.3 percent
	premeditated homicides			--	 1.4 percent
	rapes					--	 0.4 percent
	others					--	20   percent

The amount of valuable assets in illegal circulation is impressive. Agents confiscated 61 kilograms of gold and jewelry worth more than 4 billion rubles from the administrators of a commercial structure selling illegally acquired gold in the cities of Moscow and Kostroma and in Moscow Oblast. An unemployed inhabitant of Moscow was charged with attempting an illegal transaction with forex assets when he tried to sell 20 carats of diamonds for $20,000.

Large quantities of raw materials containing precious metals enter the underground market via industrial enterprises using these materials in production. Criminals used technological deviations and the falsification of inventory records for the accumulation and subsequent theft of metal. This is what happened at a plant in Ryazan Oblast, where an undercover investigation prevented the theft of 12 kilograms of industrial platinum (in the form of heavy concentrate) worth 655.4 million rubles.

Measures taken in recent years have reduced the amount of counterfeit money. Nevertheless, counterfeit domestic banknotes, foreign currency, and state securities are still being circulated. Last year there were 8,700 reported cases of this. According to preliminary data, the prevented losses amounted to around 1.5 billion rubles. Around 24,000 counterfeit Bank of Russia notes and almost 5,000 counterfeit foreign bills were taken out of circulation.

A citizen carrying 163 counterfeit bills with a face value of 50,000 rubles was arrested in Tambov Oblast. Later his "place of business"--a printing press--was also discovered along with another 100 counterfeit banknotes. Our domestic "experts" are not the only ones specializing in the counterfeiting of Russian currency. Many of the counterfeit bills come from abroad. Two Polish citizens with 5,300 counterfeit 50,000-ruble bills from the Bank of Russia were arrested in Warsaw in summer 1996. Subsequent undercover operations and investigations of two printing companies by Polish police officers led to the confiscation of a printing press and several dozen plates. Several operations were conducted to prevent the unlawful export of nonferrous and rare-earth metals, petroleum products, timber, and other strategic materials and crude resources. The operations were targeted to identify and block the channels for the transfer of the resources, identify the individuals involved, and confiscate the stolen property. They resulted in the prevention of the illegal export of more than 5,000 tonnes of various metals, 15,000 tonnes of oil and petroleum products, and around 30,000 cubic meters of timber and wood products with a combined value of close to 200 billion rubles.

Organized gangs in Moscow and Irkutsk used forged documents of the Angarsk Petrochemical Company to control the assets of a foreign firm worth $4.6 million and obtain 18,000 tonnes of petroleum products for export. Criminal elements in the consumer market, where one out of every three reported economic crimes was committed, are still under the constant scrutiny of internal affairs agencies. During the year agents discovered more than 1,700 cases of the production and sale of goods not meeting safety requirements, over 29,000 cases of consumer fraud, overcharging and overweighing, more than 5,600 cases of illegal trade, and tens of thousands of thefts.

Few of the 346,000 audited trade organizations were operating according to established regulations. There were almost 120,000 offenders, fines were imposed on 116,200 physical and legal persons, and over 7,700 enterprises lost their licenses to sell alcohol and tobacco products. The retail sale of illegally bottled alcohol is a particularly urgent problem. The illegal activities of almost 2,000 underground shops producing alcoholic beverages were discovered and stopped. This exceptionally lucrative field of production is not diminishing. The production is now being conducted on an industrial basis and the underground production units are expanding. An illegal plant bottling the Agdam brand of wines was discovered in Maritime Kray, for example. Agents confiscated more than a billion rubles' worth of alcohol unfit for sale. More than 200,000 decaliters of alcohol produced without a license were discovered at an enterprise in Kurgan Oblast. The unreported income exceeded 16 billion rubles.

Entrepreneurship in the consumer market often serves as a "screen" for the manipulation of hidden profits. In particular, this is done by using the procedure of false exports of alcohol products, in which an enterprise concludes fictitious contracts with foreign firms to avoid the payment of excise taxes and then sells the alcohol in the domestic market. The amount of unpaid revenue in one criminal case in Ryazan Oblast was 10 billion rubles, and the state lost 70 billion rubles in another case. Illegal business transactions involving particularly large amounts of money are being investigated in the criminal case against the administrators of a limited partnership in Moscow. They received a license to sell up to 60,000 liters of vodka a year in 1995, but they actually sold 10 times as much, and the unreported income exceeded 1.1 billion rubles.

One of the most "popular" types of economic crime is fraud. In terms of percentages, it (13.4 percent) is surpassed only by property theft (16 percent). The reasons for its "success" are the inadequate legal knowledge of participants in civil-legal transactions, the excessive and unwarranted trust of the victims, and the unscrupulous behavior of individuals with access to cash conversion services.

Criminal proceedings were instituted in Tyumen Oblast against the founder of a limited partnership who took over the duties of the firm director and concluded several credit agreements with various commercial organizations. She would then convert the credits to cash and use the money for her own needs, making no effort to repay the loans. The total losses exceeded 1.2 billion rubles.

In the Bashkortostan Republic the criminal activity of 11 organized gangs of con men with interregional ties was stopped. The arrested leader of one gang, a resident of Odessa, had stolen various types of physical valuables worth a billion rubles from state and commercial structures using the forged documents of a fictitious firm he had created. A search of his premises turned up 27 stamps of institutions and enterprises of varying property status, stolen passports, and combat weapons.

The broad-scale comprehensive operation "Harvest" was conducted in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies to guarantee the safety of agricultural products during harvesting, transport, storage, and processing for the purpose of preventing and stopping crime in the agro- industrial complex. More than 20,000 economic crimes were reported in this sector of the economy during the year. Operation "Fishing Season" led to the detection of around 4,000 crimes connected with the theft and illegal circulation of fish and shellfish, and one out of every two was committed by a group. Around 6,000 people were charged with crimes. The stolen products were confiscated: 108.5 tonnes of caviar, including 8.2 tonnes of sturgeon caviar, 1,200 tonnes of valuable types of fish, including 200 tonnes of sturgeon, and 412 tonnes of shellfish. The production of caviar, smoked sturgeon, and other products was stopped in 34 underground shops. Administrative penalties were imposed on more than 33,000 offenders. Their combined fines amounted to 4.8 billion rubles. The unlawful use of more than 1,200 boats and 526 kilometers of nets was stopped. The economic impact of this operation exceeded 100 billion rubles.

The investigators of internal affairs agencies have a heavy workload. The main reasons are the shortage of personnel and the increasing complexity of the cases they handle. In spite of this, investigative subdivisions managed to keep up with the colossal volume of work in 1996. More criminal cases were investigated and sent to the courts (an increase of 2.2 percent). Some indicators of procedural quality improved: The number of investigations completed after the expiration of the statute of limitations decreased, and so did the number of cases returned for additional investigation. More intense efforts to identify and apprehend offenders reduced the number of suspended cases by 16.4 percent.

Rate of Street Crimes

number committed each year

	303,600 in 1992 
	333,700 in 1993 
	283,100 in 1994 
	269,500 in 1995
	219,200 in 1996 

Measures to relieve investigators of the need to handle minor infractions focused the efforts of qualified experts on serious crimes committed by organized gangs, crimes connected with corruption, broad-scale financial intrigues, embezzlement and malfeasance, and indications of racketeering.

Several cases with unequivocal and frequently turbulent public reactions were investigated and sent to the courts by the organized crime division of the Investigative Committee of the Russian MVD. This was true, in particular, of the case of the high-level Central Bank officials who were accused of taking huge bribes. Sitdikov, the head of the central operations office of the Russian Central Bank, his deputies Turova, Popruga, and Martynov, and former Soyuzprofbank chairman of the board Letunov were sentenced to lengthy prison terms and the confiscation of property for organizing and taking several bribes in large amounts and for violating the rules of operations with foreign currency.

Criminal activity is becoming more extensive, crossing geographic and sociopolitical boundaries. Many cases, particularly those connected with the activities of interregional and international crime rings, could not have been solved without close cooperation with other state structures. In particular, in cases of crimes connected with the drug trade, several undercover operations and investigations were conducted in conjunction with the State Customs Committee, resulting in the confiscation of illegal drugs worth more than 11 billion rubles in "black market" prices.

Criminology subdivisions have been more active in the investigation of crimes. They have mastered new types of expert analyses--bomb detection, voice and genetic identification, and others. The use of automation equipment (more than 60 percent of the Internal Affairs Ministries, main directorates, and directorates have automated fingerprint identification systems) and computers has reduced the amount of time required for expert analyses and research by 20-30 percent.

Whereas the work of the investigator, the undercover agent, and the criminologist is not seen by outsiders, the activities of vehicle inspectors, postal inspectors, precinct police inspectors, and many other officers of public safety divisions (the local police) are conducted in public. They are the first to respond to reports of possible criminal activity in the streets and in public places and to the requests of citizens for assistance. Public opinion regarding the thousands of personnel of internal affairs agencies often depends on the way in which they perform their duties, on their ability to make a good impression instead of insulting people with their indifference, arrogance, boorishness, or authoritarian behavior.

Most of this staff is supported by local budgets. The shortage of funds in several regions, however, has virtually suspended the hiring of new personnel. The number of public safety police officers in Russia is equivalent to only 72.5 percent of the average required number, and the number of patrolmen is equivalent to only 68.5 percent. Furthermore, the number does not exceed 30 percent in the Altay Republic and in Tomsk and Chita Oblasts.

Law and order in the streets and in public places are secured by more than 2,000 tactical squads of patrolmen. The improvement of organizational forms of police work and the stronger supervision of this work have led to the identification of the perpetrators of 123,300 crimes, including 52,800 felonies, 3,400 homicides and felonious assaults, 11,300 thefts and muggings, and 10,600 drug- related crimes.

The institution of regular police patrols is an effective means of monitoring the situation in potential locations of crime, in locations frequented by large groups of citizens, on the sites of new construction projects, and in remote neighborhoods. Last year the number of these patrols was increased to 700. The preliminary results of an experiment with patrol precincts headed by a precinct inspector have been encouraging. Representatives of different police services work under his supervision. This results in a more professional and effective response to critical situations in the region served. The officers of these details solve most street crimes as soon as they occur.

Precinct police inspectors are instrumental in solving crimes. They identified the perpetrators of 436,100 crimes. The prevention of criminal acts and other offenses is another important element of the precinct inspector's professional duties. The preventive work of the police focuses simultaneously on two targets: certain groups prone to criminal behavior and the causes and factors contributing to violations of the law.

The number of repeat offenders rises each year and is a matter of particular concern to the precinct inspector. His legal methods of regulating the lifestyle of individuals released from detention facilities are constantly dwindling, however. The absence of reliable social guarantees and the virtually insoluble job and housing shortages have complicated the process of resocializing this category of citizens.

The prevention of juvenile delinquency has always been a crucial part of police work. The total number of crimes committed by juveniles decreased by 6,900 last year, and this tendency was recorded in more than half of the Russian regions. Almost 80 percent of the crimes committed by juveniles, however, are felonies. Juvenile delinquency is still an exceptionally dangerous phenomenon.

That is why the Russian MVD put several regions with the highest rates of juvenile delinquency under special supervision. A comprehensive interdepartmental preventive measure, Operation "Juvenile," was conducted with consideration for past experience. Special preventive counseling has been offered to 56,000 juveniles, 16,000 parents, and 8,700 juvenile gangs regularly exhibiting unlawful behavior.

One of the most crucial problems is the number of neglected and unsupervised children, primarily because these children are seen as new recruits for the crime world due to their lack of care and protection. Many of the leaders of territorial elements of the Russian Federation have responded to this situation with understanding and are trying to solve at least part of the problem by organizing leisure activities for juveniles. In spite of its economic difficulties, the network of children's associations and recreation centers in the Tatarstan Republic is operating effectively. There are 34 clubs and 260 informal organizations and discussion groups just in Naberezhnyye Chelny. Almost 9,000 juveniles attend these gatherings, and more than 800 of them are enrolled in the special police counseling programs. They can use the services of the "Trust" social center and a psychological help line. Similar associations also exist in Kazan, Nizhnekamsk, Almetyevsk, and Zelenodolsk.

The Russian MVD, just as other state agencies and public organizations concerned about child welfare, associates certain expectations with work on the federal targeted program for the "prevention of juvenile neglect and delinquency."

Special police squads made their contribution to the fight against crime. During the year they conducted 38,000 preventive measures, detained more than 14,100 criminals, and identified more than 544,600 violators of administrative laws. These subdivisions experienced their heaviest workload during the period of hostilities in the Chechen Republic. Recently the personnel of the special police squads have been enlisted more frequently for special operations to stop acts of terrorism and the activities of armed criminal gangs, to free hostages, and to confiscate illegally stored weapons, ammunition, explosives, and drugs. These forces regularly cover the actions of task forces of the criminal police and other services to stop felonies in progress, participate in regional and interregional preventive operations, and serve with police patrolmen and highway patrolmen of the GAI on 24-hour guard duty in public places, in locations with a high crime rate, on major highways, and in transportation hubs.

Last year some necessary measures were taken to enforce new regulations in the sphere of traffic safety, state vehicle inspectors played a more important role in the maintenance of law and order and the fight against crime, and additional measures were taken to reinforce discipline and legality in the actions of law enforcement personnel. As a result, the rate of traffic accidents was stabilized to some degree. The main indicators of highway safety suggest the continuation of the tendency toward a lower accident rate recorded in the last five years. The number of traffic accidents decreased by 4 percent, the number of people killed in accidents decreased by 10.1 percent, and the number injured in accidents decreased by 3 percent. There was a reduction of 2.3 percent in the number of child and teenage victims. The persistent efforts of thousands of GAI personnel can be discerned behind these colorless statistics.

The report on their work could have been more optimistic if drivers had realized their role and responsibility in the maintenance of traffic safety. The indifference of drivers to traffic regulations and the absence of mutual respect and mutual understanding among these drivers are the main reasons that the overall accident rate is still so high. Furthermore, the number of accidents and the number of fatalities and injuries rose dramatically in some regions (in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, in Murmansk, Penza, and Smolensk Oblasts, and in the Taymyr Autonomous Okrug). The proportional number of accidents caused by violations of traffic regulations by drivers (75.2 percent), including those driving under the influence of alcohol (23.1 percent), is an indication of the area in which the GAI could institute stricter control to ensure public safety.

Clearance Rate for Different Types of Crimes

[table data]

Crimes					--1991--1992--1993--1994--1995--1996

Premeditated homicide 
including attempted homicide)		--85.6--81.4--76.8--74.7--73.5--75.0 
Felonious assault			--70.5--67.0--66.0--69.7--72.2--75.8 
Rape (including attempted rape)		--85.2--81.8--81.5--84.0--84.8--86.9 
Larceny					--28.3--28.8--34.0--41.9--46.6--51.6 
Robbery					--37.9--36.8--36.6--42.2--45.9--51.3 
Mugging					--59.9--54.4--52.9--56.5--57.5--62.8 
Fraud					--61.4--59.9--76.4--74.3--73.7--77.3 

The GAI was more active in the fight against crime. It opened 134 police checkpoints equipped with automated vehicle information systems. During the year the personnel of these stations inspected around 12 million vehicles. They discovered more than 5,000 vehicles that had been used in the commission of crimes, around 4,000 stolen vehicles, and more than 500 drivers who had left the scene of an accident. They stopped 1,500 incidents of the illegal transport of drugs, 500 vehicles carrying firearms, 700 carrying ammunition, and around 10,000 with fraudulent documents. They detained more than 9,200 citizens for the commission of crimes and imposed fines on 400,000 offenders.

In all, the personnel of the GAI solved more than 57,000 crimes during the year, including more than 8,000 thefts, 1,500 muggings and robberies, and 2,400 crimes connected with the illegal traffic in drugs. They found more than 36,000 vehicles wanted by the authorities, including 16,000 stolen vehicles, during the year.

The institution of new types of registration documents, new procedures for their distribution and processing, and a new system to check the status of vehicles, and the more extensive practice of special undercover operations reduced the number of crimes connected with the unlawful possession and operation of vehicles by 19 percent.

One of the main objectives of the GAI is to enhance the prestige of this service by purging its ranks of unscrupulous personnel. Special preventive monitoring subdivisions conducted more than 5,000 confidential reviews. They led to proceedings against 2,500 people, including 1,700 highway patrol inspectors and the personnel of 141 registration and examination subdivisions.

The ministry system includes structures with diverse functions and duties and a service sphere connected with specific facilities rather than the territorial administrative divisions of the country. The internal affairs agencies in the transportation network are one example of this. The measures taken in conjunction with the administrations of transport organizations had a positive effect on the overall situation in this sphere. The number of reported crimes decreased by 4.2 percent, and there was a perceptible reduction in the number of homicides and felonious assaults (20.8 percent and 14.8 percent respectively).

The extra manpower of police squads in railroad stations and terminals, on passenger trains, and in airports and sea ports did much to improve the situation and was made possible by the assistance of transport enterprises. Railroads financed the addition of 6,000 policemen to the squads guarding passenger trains. These details now patrol almost half of the trains. The number of trains guarded by police along the whole route and of eastbound international trains escorted from the border of the Russian Federation to Moscow has risen from 200 to 348. The inclusion of undercover agents in these squads has proved to be a more effective way of detecting and preventing felonies. A passenger carrying five pistols and the ammunition and silencers for these guns was apprehended on the train from Kislovodsk to Novokuznetsk in December, for example. Territorial subdivisions of internal affairs agencies work closely with the transport police. In particular, around 500 transport facilities are on the patrol route of the GAI, 856 are patrolled by the officers of city and rayon agencies, and 76 are patrolled by special motorized units of the internal troops of the Russian MVD. Public peacekeeping groups have also improved the situation in the transportation network. There are now around 150 of these.

Many criminal acts require the use of the transportation network, particularly the transit shipment of illegal drugs. More of these drugs are being shipped through Russian airports. Police and customs inspectors discovered and confiscated around 80 kilograms of cocaine at Sheremetyevo-2 Airport. The organizers of illegal shipments of drugs can resort to exotic methods. Citizens of African states are used as live containers, for example. Each of 11 detained citizens of Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon was carrying from 30 to 60 capsules of cocaine in his stomach, with a combined weight of around 10 kilograms, and worth more than $2 million in "black market" prices.

The 49 police detachments on the railroads specialize in cases of the illegal transport of drugs, weapons, ammunition, and explosives and other serious crimes. During the year they confiscated around four tonnes of illegal drugs and narcotic raw materials, 310 firearms, including 276 rifled guns, more than 850 grenades and other explosive devices, and around 100 kilograms of explosive substances from criminals. During a routine search in the Leningrad- Finland Station, for example, they detained residents of St. Petersburg who were carrying 17 grenades and more than 7,000 bullets. In the same region, in the city of Pushkin, they detained a local resident who was trying to sell five warheads of the Hurricane artillery system, capable of being activated by coded radio signals.

Violations connected with the disconnection of alarm, communication, and power supply systems to facilitate the theft of nonferrous metals have become genuinely disastrous in the transportation network. Operation "Metal" was conducted in 13 Russian regions and in the facilities served by 18 internal affairs transport administrations. This resulted in the detection of 835 violations, the institution of criminal proceedings in 213 cases, the termination of the activities of 98 criminal gangs, and the confiscation of around 800 tonnes of stolen metal worth more than half a billion rubles. Around 400 scrap metal receiving centers were inspected, and 38 were closed for reported violations. In response to the higher rate of bombings and the deliberate destruction of the railways (more than 20 incidents during the year), coordinated measures were conducted with subdivisions of the Russian Federal Security Service to identify and indict the criminals who had caused the damage to the railways and the derailment of passenger trains on the Oktyabrsk and Kemerovo railroads and to neutralize explosive devices in the Baltic Terminal in St. Petersburg and in a time vault in the Prokhladnaya Station on the North Caucasus Railroad.

There were numerous incidents of corruption involving employees of the transportation network, just as in other spheres of economic activity. Undercover investigations led to the exposure and indictment of 160 corrupt officials of traffic control services. Agents discovered 77 organized crime rings with corrupt ties. The heads of transport subdivisions of the Southeastern, East Siberian, Northern, South Ural, and Volga Railroads were indicted for taking bribes and abetting thefts. Numerous reports of thefts of money by the administrators of the Novorossiysk Shipping Line are being investigated. Agents discovered a total of 1,900 crimes by officials (an increase of 11.1 percent), and one out of every four was connected with bribery. They neutralized around 400 organized crime rings responsible for the commission of over 1,200 crimes in the transportation network.

Internal affairs agencies in the transportation network are aware of the crucial nature of the situation connected with the illegal export of strategic resources and materials, oil, petroleum products, and nonferrous and precious metals. More than 4,000 of these violations were reported in 1996. Total losses in thefts of nonferrous metals amounted to 6.7 billion rubles, and the figures for other resources were 612 million rubles for precious metals, 2.5 billion rubles for oil and petroleum products, and 211 million rubles for timber and wood products.

Subdivisions of the State Fire Prevention Service (GPS) had a heavy workload in the enforcement of fire safety regulations and the rules of the safe operation of equipment in various branches of industry and in the home. The personnel of this service saved the lives of around 30,000 people last year and prevented losses of 33 trillion rubles. They successfully put out several large and dangerous fires (the fire in the Chuvash Republic, for example, after the derailment of the freight train carrying phenol and diesel fuel).

Engineering and organizational measures continued to be taken to guarantee the fire safety of new designs and construction projects. The designs for 23 projects with no counterparts in Russia were drawn up in conjunction with the Russian Ministry of Construction and with scientific and project planning organizations.

More than 1,500 licenses were issued for fire safety projects. This fundamentally new field of fire prevention was envisaged in the federal law "On Fire Safety." The legal provision concerning reviews of compliance with fire safety requirements in more than 30 different types of facilities (in grain elevators, oil terminals, movie theaters, trade enterprises, public health, education, and social welfare institutions, the utility lines of residences and industrial enterprises, etc.) was implemented through federal agencies of the executive branch of government. Fire prevention equipment was inspected at the Kursk and Novovoronezh nuclear power plants.

The economic difficulty of equipping GPS subdivisions and keeping them on alert status, however, has caused a disastrous drop in the level of fire protection services. Fire prevention subdivisions are equipped with only 79 percent of the fire engines they need, 58 percent of the required special vehicles, and 37.5 percent of the necessary protective clothing.

Comprehensive measures to stop the activities of illegal armed squads in the Chechen Republic and border regions, the protection of important government facilities, including the nuclear power engineering network and the nuclear weapons complex, and participation in the maintenance of law and order and the guarantee of public safety in big cities and in residential communities with the highest crime rates constituted the basis of the military duties of internal troops of the Russian MVD.

Operations in the Chechen Republic neutralized 2,700 fighters and resulted in the confiscation of 44 armored vehicles, 274 artillery systems, 204 mortars and grenade launchers, almost a thousand rifle barrels, 81,000 pieces of ammunition, and 104 kilograms of explosives. Reconnaissance operations were conducted on 345,200 kilometers of roads, 58 kilometers of power transmission lines, 78 hectares of terrain, and 1.5 million square meters of premises of various types, during which 21,700 explosive devices were neutralized.

The functions of task forces and special motorized units of the internal troops in the maintenance of law and order were expanded. The services of more than 35,000 soldiers were enlisted to keep the peace before and during the election campaign. During the year patrols confiscated 2,500 gun barrels, 74 knives, and more than 20 kilograms of illegal drugs. Money and physical valuables worth 1.8 billion rubles were returned to the state.

During the course of military service in important state facilities and during operations to guard supply lines and special freight shipments and to escort convicted felons, special security guards and military details prevented 50 explosions and fires and 40,600 attempts to break into guarded facilities, including some connected with armed resistance. In August a squad of naval patrol boats guarding the railroad bridge across the Amur River under the command of Senior Warrant Officer A.V. Sokin stopped an attempt by an unidentified boat to sail under the bridge. When the commanding officer ordered the people on board the offending craft to identify themselves, they began firing on the patrol boats. The personnel succeeded in detaining the craft and arresting the violators, and the matter is now under investigation.

In recent years institutions of the criminal correctional system have been under the scrutiny of the general public, international organizations, and civil rights movements. We view frankness in this area as an essential condition of the reform of the existing correctional system for the purpose of humanizing the forms and methods of its functioning and bringing the conditions of criminal detention up to civilized standards.

The 985 institutions of the correctional system (736 corrective labor colonies, including 126 timber camps, 188 pretrial detention centers and prisons, and 61 forced labor camps) had 1.018 million inmates at the end of 1996, although the specified maximum capacity was 976,700. The situation is particularly crucial in the pretrial detention centers, which are "overcrowded" by a factor of 1.7. In some the number of inmates is actually 2-2.5 times the maximum capacity. The pretrial detention centers in the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg and in Nizhniy Novgorod and Chita Oblasts are in a critical state. There were no beds for more than 105,000 detainees. The physical plant of 60 percent of the institutions is run-down. Most of the structures have been in use for several centuries and are in a disastrous state of neglect. There have been virtually no funds for the measures specified in the federal targeted program for the construction and remodeling of pretrial detention centers and prisons (only 9 percent of the required amount was allocated in 1996). This is jeopardizing the fulfillment of legal conditions, according to which all suspects and defendants held in custody must be provided with private sleeping quarters measuring at least 4 square meters per person within the first year of detention.

The number of convicts and of defendants who are being held in custody increases each year. In 1996, for example, the increase was 5.8 percent just in the corrective labor colonies (i.e., by court verdict). The criminal makeup of the inmates is worse than before. More than 40 percent are serving sentences for murder, felonious assault, mugging, robbery, and rape. Over half are repeat offenders. In spite of this, the overall situation in these institutions has been kept under control. Economic difficulties have not precluded the provision of the inmates with accommodations and food. Incidents of serious crimes against other inmates and guards and escapes from correctional institutions have been reduced by one- fourth, and there have been no riots. Measures to secure work for convicts when their numbers increased by 5,500 reduced the number of jobless individuals, but the number without work is still high-- 161,400.

Enterprises of the correctional system produced goods worth 4.2 trillion rubles. Seven new structures of the market type were established with participation by subdivisions of the correctional system (in all, there are now 71 of these in 37 regions), and they managed to attract investments of 60 billion rubles in the form of crude resources, materials, and equipment. Agricultural enterprises and the subsidiary farms of the correctional system produced 9,200 tonnes of meat, 26,200 tonnes of milk, and 1.3 million eggs, which were used to feed the inmates.

Human Resources

The improvement of the personnel staff and better hiring practices constituted one of the main factors determining the capabilities of the Russian MVD system and the results of its work in the present and future.

The professional nucleus of internal affairs agencies has grown weaker in recent years for many reasons. The renewal of human resources, however, is a natural process, and it must be managed with a view to satisfying the need for qualified experts. In the belief that the people entering the system must have firm convictions and a clear idea of the nature of their future work, efforts were made in 1995-96 to organize vocational guidance for potential candidates for service. More than 600 specialized courses with thorough legal training were taught in general educational schools, 40 police colleges and academies were opened, and instructors from educational institutions of the MVD system and specialists from sectoral services of internal affairs agencies were recruited to teach classes there. More than 25,000 students attending these academic institutions will have the opportunity for the conscious choice of their future profession and will be prepared for all of the difficulties and restrictions of service in internal affairs agencies and the internal troops.

Today the ministry's educational network consists of 27 higher academic institutions and 15 specialized secondary academic institutions. More than 80,000 people are trained at the same time in this system. The academic process is secured by around 20,000 educational and scientific personnel, 250 of whom have doctoral degrees and 2,000 of whom are candidates of science. Last year 20,600 graduates replenished the ranks of regular and tactical subdivisions of internal affairs agencies. The prestige of enrollment in the institutions of our ministry is rising, and many of the institutions can compete successfully with popular universities in the country in terms of the application rate for admission.

The contract form of employment is being developed, and a procedure for the personal sponsorship of new personnel has been instituted. Work to retrain and employ personnel released from other jobs has been conducted in conjunction with government agencies of Russian Federation members. The employment committee of the Government of St. Petersburg, for example, paid for the retraining of individuals who had lost their jobs as a result of staff cuts, and these individuals were then sent to work in subdivisions of the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs. This not only alleviated the general manpower shortage, but also reduced the shortage in the main services--fugitive recovery, economic crime, and investigative subdivisions and the precinct police inspector service--to half of the Russian average. Other staffing methods are also being tested. In particular, the Internal Affairs Directorate of Yaroslavl Oblast is conducting an experiment with competitive employment examinations for certain subdivisions.

These measures have resulted in the recruitment of 178,000 new personnel for the service and reduced the number of vacant positions to 47,200. The personnel shortage is still quite serious, however, in the internal affairs ministries of the Ingush Republic, the Komi Republic, the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, and the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), the Main Internal Affairs Directorate of Sverdlovsk Oblast, the internal affairs directorates of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Irkutsk, Magadan, and Tomsk Oblasts, and the Chukotsk Autonomous Okrug, and the Main Internal Affairs Directorate of the city of Moscow.

There have been positive changes in human resources and the state of military discipline among the servicemen of the internal troops. The troops now have 80.8 percent of the required officer personnel, and the exodus of officers has been stopped. The absolute majority of officers perform their duties conscientiously, and 1,600 were awarded state honors. The number of noncombat losses in the troops has decreased. The necessary measures were taken for the medical and psychological rehabilitation of personnel returning from the zone of military operations. The medical service was able to return 91 percent of the soldiers who were wounded and traumatized in the Chechen conflict zone to active service.

In addition to the problem of recruiting new personnel, there is the urgent need to encourage personnel to stay in the MVD system. Although the number of people leaving the system has been reduced, the situation is still critical for at least two reasons.

First of all, many cannot withstand the pressure of the work and justifiably feel that the level of social protection for ministry personnel is inadequate for such intensive and stressful work.

Second, there have been more active efforts to strengthen discipline and legality in the actions of personnel and to dismiss those who have discredited themselves. During the year 24,000 people were dismissed from internal affairs agencies for negative reasons.

We are often criticized for the gradual curtailment of Operation "Clean Hands." Our response to this criticism is that we are not doing this just "for show." This is not a campaign; it is a painstaking process. Until sufficient evidence of violations has been collected, we cannot publicly expose anyone who attracts the attention of the ministry's own security service. Today these subdivisions exist on every level of the whole vertical structure and are highly active. We will continue to strengthen the potential of this service, so that each incident of duplicity, bribery, or other types of unethical and illegal behavior can be ascertained and so that the guilty can be punished in accordance with law. We see this as one of the main ways of enhancing public trust.

In spite of our staffing difficulties, we will not tolerate anyone in our ranks who maligns the conscientious daily work of hundreds of thousands of staffers of internal affairs agencies and servicemen of the internal troops by practicing extortion, taking bribes, and openly abetting criminals. We are also obligated to do this by the memory of our 801 comrades who died last year during the performance of official and military duties. The majority of MVD personnel are people of integrity who are sincerely committed to the cause they serve. The highly professional and selfless behavior of many of them has been rewarded with state honors, which were conferred on 16,500 individuals, and 25 who displayed outstanding courage were awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation.

In spite of the growing workload of internal affairs agencies and internal troops, their financial, material, and technical support is dwindling. There have been considerable delays in the payment of wages and sharp cuts in the supply of vehicles, equipment, arms, and uniforms. None of the six federal targeted programs for which the Russian MVD is the main client has been financed in full. We are deliberately choosing not to focus attention on these problems, however, because we are in the same position as physicians, teachers, miners, soldiers, and pensioners. We realize that only the internal affairs agencies and internal troops can guard the Russians effectively against criminal violence and theft. That is why our personnel cannot afford to reduce the intensity of their work, because any lapses in our scrutiny of the crime world can only benefit all types of criminals. The staffers of internal affairs agencies and the servicemen of the internal troops are aware of their responsibility to the people and will perform their duties in accordance with law.

Of course, this report cannot cover all of the multifaceted work of internal affairs agencies and the internal troops. More detailed data on the state of law and order in specific regions and the results of the work of MVD agencies will be available to citizens in the reports of Internal Affairs Ministries, main directorates, and directorates. The ministry has instructed them to report these data to the population of the territories they serve. We are grateful to all of those whose words and actions helped us in our work and those who responded with approval or criticism to our statements in the press. We will also welcome the suggestions and comments of readers and other concerned individuals with regard to this report.

Struggle Against Corruption in Civil Service

 criminal indictments

	3,688	total
	  117	personnel of representative bodies of government
	2,625	personnel of public administration agencies
	  857	personnel of law enforcement agencies

Violations of Russian Presidential Edict of 4 April 1992
In structures of the civil service

	903	total
	 77	representative bodies of government
	469	public administration agencies
	321	law enforcement agencies